tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC March 3, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
have a great weekend. see you back here monday night 6:00 p.m. check out facebook page. we have had big contest. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. bewitched, bothered a bewildered. let's play "hardball." good evening. last night president trump called ties to russia a witch hunt. president trump continue to push back hard for calls against campaign. bewildered. the more they talk the more -- isn't that a song. here is president trump last
month. >> can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with russia. >> not that i'm aware. >> how many times do i have to answer this question. no person that i deal with does. >> we now know three adviser had contact. then senator jeff sessions and carter page. since the election michael flynn and son-in-law also met the ambassador. speaking of flynn had he trouble getting his story straight. penicill flynn decide he discussed sanctions with the ambassador. if he had done so. he twice said no.
he backed away from the denial. he indicated he had no recollections of discussing sanctions he could not be certain that the topic never came up. here is sean spicer. >> there's been a total of two calls with the ambassador and general flynn and the second call three days ago it has not occurred yet. >> not that i'm aware of. >> we know thanks to reporting that flynn met with the ambassador and it happened at trump tower. jeff sessions said this at confirmation hearing. >> if there's any evidence of anyone calfated with the dr.
>> i'm not aware of any of those activities. i have been called a surrogate at a time or two at the campaign and i did not have contact with the russians and i'm unable to comment on it. >> attorney general sessions recused himself. he said this. >> i don't believe there's anything wrong with united states senator meting with an ambassador from russia. i see you ask a lot of questions about it, that's fine. i think it was reasonable meeting. i had staffer with me and we discussed important international issues. i learned something in that meeting. >> another former trump adviser carter page said this. >> i'll ask again did you have
meetings last year with russian officials inrussia, outside of russia, anywhere. >> i may have said hello as they are walking by at my graduation speech i gave in july, but no meetings. >> that graduation was in russia. here he was last night on "all in". >> i never met i never met him an why where outside of cleveland. >> the olympnly time you met his this cleveland. >> may have in cleveland. >> i wonder what he got for that. joined by former nbc analyst,
michael, steve, you start. what are these meetings about? is the russia aggressor who goes around grabbing trump people. how would you explain the rapport between the russians and the trumps. >> there were events in conviction with the republican convention last year. this diplomats meeting with political officials. in that context members of donald trump's committee met with the russian ambassador and they had discussions there as we reported. we don't know what was said, we know there was contact at that function and it contradicted
statements from the campaign and trump administration that there's no contact between the trump campaign and russian officials. >> evelyn, let's talk about pattern. we have incredible documentation about the russian to change the election. in coronation with russian tv, all being run by the top. we know there's a series of get together between the trump people. i don't know what part would be witch hunt. the degree to which the trump people showed pressuappreciatio the help they were getting from the russian.
>> that's the thing, it seems like they are in constant contact -- i'm on the other side of that picture -- >> what's his story. he is a busy little bee. what is that about. >> the back door is that someone didn't want the public to know either the trump people or the russian or both didn't want the world to know. >> whenever they did dodgeball there's this careful kind of, to the best of my recollection. this is traditional ways of telling the truth. to the best of my recollection, then i don't remember. now i remember. >> sessions was saying he was having trouble remembering the details. i remember the trip i took.
then suddenly he remembers all of this stuff. >> producers said in the three or four days that he met with kislyak, headlines all over the place about russian involvement. this was -- how do you avoid the elephant in the room. >> we don't know. we keep getting the changing stories they are inconsistent. so when the white house says and trump says there's nothing going on here, you are fake news, you are making it up, the response is why can't you tell us a story that is consistent and makes sense and has transparency. there's no transparency. donald trump has a strange way of talking about vladimir putin and russia. he used to say he had a
relationship with putin then that changed. >> he is hiding in plain sight. this story about political bromance. they try to mess up our democracy and the appearance of our democracy. the response to that was the public response and trump. he is my kind of guy. trump never made effort to deny he liked what putin was doing. why don't you dig into 30,000 e-mails. >> there's nothing wrong with it. >> yes it is. we are investigating what's already been exposed. today president trump tweeting this photo of schumer. president trump wrote, we should start an immediate investigation into senator schumer into his
ties to russia and putin. a total hypocrite. he tweeted back he happy to talk contact with putin. it took place underoath. would you and your team do it under oath. >> schumer never hides anything. he is a public man. >> 2003 was a different time. we can spend a list of bad things putin has done since then. he was first leader to call bush after 9/11. there's no sense of belaboring that. it's a silly attack on schumer. putin was a different figure than he is now. >> all of these people, frirst f all, we know paul manafort had a lot of dealings on the russian
side, right. >> yes. >> then we have role in the campaign, the guy gordon, carter page. >> who are these people. this new group of people, they seem to be operating as cut-outs and they are associated with trump. >> manafort is known in ukraine -- >> which side. >> he has been operating to help russian interest to help with ukrainian in power at the time. he made them a lot of money to manafort. >> this guy is doing honorary graduation speeches. do they speech russian, do they.
there's this back and for. what was his graduation speech about. who paid all that. >> mystery character who came out of nowhere. the campaign said we never knew hem and he never did anything. >> one of the -- oil company, state oil company he is allies with those folks. >> tell us about this sort of code of people somewhere in and out of moscow all the time. >> carter page had history of going in and out of russia. he was former in rush why for many years. he is among national security adviser that attorney general
sessions -- speeches are under scrutiny, as we look into connections with russia. >> michael flynn going over there being wined and dined with putin. jill stein. what are those people up to? it seems like they have a lot of money being thrown around to -- is this one of the pieces of it, steve. >> that would be. michael flynn didn't have a former roll with the campaign at the time of the republican national convention but that's part of what the intelligence community is looking at. >> can i make -- >> putin is not that gd of
intel. people plying over there for dinner. >> delicious. >> i think it's he was on the gas bum. >> there's a lot of odor to this because we know they used propaganda on rt. they used -- they do all of this stuff. they hack, they go into dnc, all for the purpose of we know putin is ahead of all of this. are we to presume there was no response from the trump people. >> that's what's so curious about all this. the context is not donald trump so upset about this. the intelligence community thinks a foreign governor -- did
have an affect, we did not prove that it did, we cannot prove that it didn't. ewasn't doing that because he thought it would have no affect on the electorate -- so call all russia for bad behavior. it's dangerous not to have contact with russia. >> we don't know what the conversations are. >> they are not transparent and there's something stratenge abo all of it. >> thank you. the scoop coming up. sessions, his recusal may not be enough to silence -- two u.s.
congressman will be here to see if ag have to testify under oath. maybe they should have checked out mike pence was receiving his e-mails because it turn out he was using personal account for state business out in indiana. you won't believe george w. bush visit behind the white house it was to pick up a date. this friday, the "hardball" rou roundtable is going to tell me something i don't know. this is "hardball" where the action is. is data that can makee difference between winning and losing. the microsoft cloud helps the pga tour turn countless points of data into insights that
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>> the top cop in our country lied under oath to the american people is grounds for him to resign. he has proved that he is unqualified and unfit to serve in that position of trust. >> welcome back to "hardball." nancy pelosi and chuck schumer united in their call of jeff sessions resignation. there's multiple investigations into russians attempt to interfere with our 2016 elections. the hearings, fbi, senate judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism. some would like independent prosecutor or appointed by the justice department to look into
these matters. the republicans are on board with that notion. >> you cannot have a friend of mine jeff sessions on the campaign who is an appointee, you have to use statute and office to recuse, you cannot give it to your deputy, you have to do that. >> if there's something there that the fbi believes is in critical in nature then you need a special prosecutor. >> we are joined by two members of the house. i listened to lindsey graham and i thought he was honest, he is close to right in the middle of thinking about things i would like to seem him talking.
i'm thinking where are we on this? >> i want to start with congressman, what do you make of this? yet, i'm using this metaphor of gig saw puzzle, you see the framing of it. you put that -- you put it together by the frame first then fill in the middle. we have half filled it. we know the russian have done everything to turn the elections toward trump. what role did trump play, what words did they do. i want to start with congressman den, what do we know, the role of the trump people in responding to this generosity on the part of mr. putin and his
people. >> i know the intelligence committee are investigating. let's see wha they find. atome point later, i would like to let intelligence committee do their work. the question is why does the administration have a unra vel, i think this is underlying question that disturbs me -- >> besides the new presidency, he believes he can work east west deal involving isis. >> i don't they -- i think
general mattis and kelly and tillerson have a conventional view towards russians, they need to stand up russia is trying undermine that order sp i can't for the life of me that the trump administration think our interests and the russians are aligned. the russians are more aligned with the shy ads, and i don't see it. >> congressman hyde, do people know more than they can say. do you know more than the people of reading times or the post? -- >> it's an interesting questions
because the answer is of course we do. our intelligence committee is undertaking -- i say it's an interesting question because the other thing that happens if we wake up to a story breaking in "the washington post" or the "new york times" because they are going directionally to the press sometimes those who are behind the closed doors are learning the new information. >> what disturbs you, does that bother you all of the meetings -- they are not non-political, they occur secretly up in trump tower. it's not anything about policy or legislating roll, something to do with the campaign.
>> just the intensity and density, meeting is not a problem. knowing what we know that the white house has not been honest like michael flynn, jeff sessions was not entirely honest with the white house, you would think the white house would be saying this is all innocence so bring in the investigators, let's do everything, we'll show you everything, instead we're getting denials and foot-dragging on top of all of these discussions with the russians make us say what's behind all of this stuff. >> one of the things that jumped out at me was the meeting with kushner and flynn up at trump
tower, they went through the some other entrance in the building, i assume trump knew about it, it turns out that meeting went on prior to the dismissal of flynn having met with the russians, now we're told the president knew about the meeting. we have to think it's plausible that they knew about it the whole time he was condemning michael flynn about not being honest about his meeting. this is how cicular this gets. >> i -- >> let's a great question.
i think russia does not have our best interest and the fact they are going to undermine western democracy, they are going to do it in france or germany to destroy the image of democracy because they don't want to compete. they want the competition to be worst -- up next mike pence is under fire. now they reports account was hacked. that's coming up. wasn't he part of the firing squad against hillary, wasn't he part of that firing squad. this is is "hardball" where the action is. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one.
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girlfriend. nor now, back to "hardball." hillary clinton operated in such a way to keep her e-mails and interactions while secretary of state with the clinton foundation out of the public reach and out of public accountability with regard to classified information she either new or should have known that she was placing classified information in a way that exposed it to being hacked. >> welcome back to "hardball" of the that was governor pence calling out hillary clinton for her use of private server. the vice president himself, is being criticized for own
decision to use private e-mail account to conduct government busine. pence communicated with private e-mails. the newspaper guess on to report that the governor's private account was hacked. today the vice president defended his actions. >> i'm confident that our e-mail practices were in full compliance with all of indiana's laws. there's no comparison whatsoever between hillary clinton practice having a private server, destroying e-mails when they were asked by congress and officials, we have complied with all of indiana's laws. >> joining me now, ian, let's be
narrow and fair. i think people who don't like hilly, the ones that doesn't like her, thought she was hiding something, her nature is to hide. here is a guy, whatever the laws governing indianapolis, which remain mer key on your own, if there's a political conversation it's yours to control. you get to decide it. he was doing what she did. tell me i'm right or wrong? is. >> i think you're right. >> there's semipurpoessential p is --
>> yes. we're seeing the results of that now in indiana where he is not releasing some parts of -- >> it's his call. >> he is fighting it. >> the foia reports ask for information they have particular stuff out of his information but yet point by point he can defend -- >> you're exactly right. it ilegal -- >> it was legal when hillary did it. >> i confirmed to the rules of the state instead of saying i was hiding this stuff. >> also, there's a very, very big difference between two of them in office. the secretary of state -- >> more sensitive. >> he had stuff cherry picked, every state has homeland security. >> for sure, there's the
question of he was still using this aol account when he was considered a potential part of trump -- >> i think had is honest -- dishonest as anybody else. he could have said he could shouting hillary down into hell over this issue, he could have allowed the fact i use private e-mail ni e-mail myself. he could have made i had other conversations with the guy, it wasn't campaign related. nobody tells the whole truth they carve everything. >> if he had been absolutely stricken by the book to say i use private e-mail but i wasn't secretary of state but i didn't try to setup a server in the basement of my house that would
have made the distinction clear. my favorite part after his e-mail was hacked by the lowest form of hacking -- it's a fishing expedition where they say i'm distressed. >> -- those are not high-level hackers. those are -- >> these are phone calls. >> that's who hacked his account. so you can ask the question might that happened would it be easy for someone else to hack it we don't flow. after that hack he got rid of that aol account and got another one. really? >> thank you. that's why it's called
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following his address to congress. that afterglow was cut short when it was reported that more members in the inner circle had undisclosed meetings with the russian ambassador. the news about sessions indicate something more nefarious is in place. >> this is totally unacceptable and the idea they are making excuses and splitting hairs, this is we have not seen the end of this. the recusal is an admission that something was wrong. >> i'm joined by the roundtable. ashly parker, steve, tell me about this week, can you
describe it in one capsule. uneven week, interesting week? >> he started off riding high after the joint address. they had done something unique. they had consensus around washington. >> why is it important to read -- do you think it's hard to read a tell prompter? >> -- i agree with the white house they said so many commentators fell for the act. it was a good performance. >> there is a white house when they are celebrating when they are able to get the president to tweet less. he read off the teleprompter, he
stayed on cue. >> it's not like a guy before the parole board who doesn't blow it. i'll never do it again. yes, buddy, why does it get the pass. everybody knew who he was doing. >> he was surrounded by the people he ran against. the so-called judges in the front row gazing at him. the democrats including chief clown chuck schumer -- >> fake tears. >> will he be the outlaw, disrup terri -- disrupter, how come they are not scared.
there were plenty of scary thoughts. >> it was one night. >> let ask about the rest of the week. one thing about trump, he lives hour before hour. each hour is self-contained. the former president is illegal president, now he isn't. everything erases. what kills him is tuesday night has been erased by a lot of people. all right. >> within 24 hours we were no longer to longer talking about his presidential tone, we're talking about russia again. >> it wasn't able to breathe. >> they felt they were going to ride out news cycle because the -- >> is there a cycle any more? we were getting stories that
break a story and comes out sometime before midnight, we're getting stories breaking news about people meeting with the russian inteambassador because news keeps going and bad for trump. >> i do agree it does feel like this news cycle is microskopic. this drip, drip, drip of revelation has hung over his campaign and white house the entire time and that's one constant of these changing news cycle. >> it came up a lot in 2016 but everybody was focused on the phenomenon of donald trump not on the russian story. on the question of news cycles,
it's like the emmy nominated movie "arrival" when the aliens don't have a sense of time. >> enemy or academy. >> i apologize. >> good sci-fi. president trump told reporters he didn't think jeff sessions to recuse himself. >> should the attorney general recuse himself? >> here is the attorney general explaining why he didn't follow the president's advice. >> the president said today they think you should not recuse yourself from the investigations. >> they don't know the rules,
ethics rules. most don't. when i evaluate the rules i should not involved investigating a campaign i had a role in. >> don't you love the sweetness of that guy's voice? you know, the southern -- we're losing our regional accents in this country but he's got a good one and he seems so andy griffith, you know, like i don't know just seems like something we did and not that important and i was telling the truth. and how can you be mad at that guy? trump's a big city guy and he comes on strong, but they disagreed about whether this was an ethical violation situation. >> it's interesting because the reason he gave of why he decided to recuse himself was that he was involved in the campaign. that's been true the whole time -- >> so why do you think he changed his policy yesterday? just because he got caught? whatever he -- exactly what he said applied the day he was picked for a.g.
>> absolutely. yesterday or that day he basically made the politically -- >> last word to you, by the way. >> he made the politically correct decision and he did do the thing that not everyone in the trump administration has done, which is recognize that you have a problem and you saw him there get out ahead of it and stop that drip drip drip and say everything he could and as you put it that very nice, sort of southern andy griffith way. the round table is sticking with us. up next, these three will tell me something i don't know. this is "hardball," where the action is. no matter how the markets change... at t. rowe price... our disciplined approach remains. global markets may be uncertain...
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we're back with the "hardball" round table. >> something you may not know is that the news from attorney general sessions obscure add newsworthy week for him. he said he wasn't going to read the reports the department of justice put out about ferguson and chicago which a lot of civil rights groups are mad at and the naacp today met with him in a closed door session and tried to push him on that issue. >> there's crazy stuff going on with voting rights in texas, too. >> they pulled out of the the discriminatory -- >> yeah. >> so there's a divide among reluctant republicans as donald trump is trying to staff his administration. on the one hand you have those who have watched these first six weeks with growing alarm or abject horror and say they will
absolutely not go into the administration and it would be a black eye they would have to defend for their rest of their career and there's others who are eager to be in the white house. >> is kasich coming in? >> they say this is the only game in town and they're going to hold their nose and do it. >> it could be eight years. it definitely will be four. >> i'll tell you something you haven't thought of perhaps and that is if vladimir putin has donald trump coming and going. he arguably helped donald trump get elected president, now he may hold the fate of donald trump in his administration in his hands because the people who know what really has gone down with donald trump and his people are the russians. >> everything was recorded, probably. >> the russians are masters. if you think the russian ambassador is just an ambassador you haven't been watching "the americans." thank you. thank you. all diplomats are at some level intelligence. anyway, thank you, that's a strong statement there.
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that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us all this week. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." did you meet sergei kislyak in cleveland? did you caulk to him? >> i'm not going to deny i talked with him. an administration plagued by deception. >> i don't recall any discussion of the campaign in any siifan